Are GM foods kosher ?

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Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Hart60 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:19 pm

Are Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) kosher ?
Does God approve of us changing the DNA by genetic engineering techniques ?

Dan.
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby rivka » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:52 am

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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Saronic » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:00 pm

Haha I'm actually in the middle of writing a paper for Rabbi Moshe Tendler on the topic of GM foods! (Last semester I took a class with him, Topics in Biology, which was amazing. This semester I'm taking BioEthics, which is also amazing!)

To quote Rabbi Tendler: "Other faiths have a problem with 'playing G-d,' but Judaism says we are obligated to do so!"

We've been genetically modifying things for science for decades now. (Unless you want to call breeding a selective genetic manipulation, in which case we've been doing it for millennia.)

Imagine how amazing it would be if we could get lysine into bread... we would essentially create a food product which alone has all the nutrients we need to live.

I'm doing a little case-study on GM Salmon... A company called AquaBounty took a gene from Pacific Salmon(kosher) and another gene from Ocean Pout (A.k.a: eel = nonkosher) and put them into an Atlantic Salmon creating a Salmon which matures 2x as quickly as a normal Atlantic Salmon.

I asked my Rebbe here at YU, Rabbi Schwartz, if the fish is kosher.

He responded: "Does it have fins and scales?"

I answered: "It looks and tastes just like a regular Atlantic Salmon."

He concluded: "Then it's kosher!"
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Enora » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:05 pm

:D I like!
Last semester I took a class with him, Topics in Biology, which was amazing. This semester I'm taking BioEthics, which is also amazing!

Very very cool! I'm jealous I admit it.
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Hart60 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:36 pm

Interesting, thanks.
Interesting subject.
Not that it really effects me, but I automatically thought that gm was non kosher, but I guess it's not so straight forward.

Dan.
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Poster » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:46 pm

I don't know about GM, but I'm pretty sure OU foods are kos.... oh.

I think some people feel there needs to be a messorah on animals.

I know that some non-Jews (who would like to be Jewish) have concluded mushrooms are not kosher for some reason based on the bible.
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Hart60 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:35 am

Not sure what are OU foods but tradition can be a good thing so long as it's for a legitimate reason and not just superstition.
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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby rivka » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:00 am

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Re: Are GM foods kosher ?

Postby Hart60 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:50 am

Thanks rivka.
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hybrids chimera

Postby aries » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:23 pm

Just got a call from the local kashrut people and they wanted to know about hybrid sheep/goats from Australia. Apparently they are convinced that all Australian sheep are really goats.
Well about twenty years ago, an Australian sheep rancher claimed he had a goat/sheep hybrid but it was not confirmed. Those cases where a hybrid was confirmed, the offspring were sterile. This is because goats have two more chromosomes than sheep.
Now two years ago, some Austalian scientist inserted cells from goat into a sheep embryo and implanted it. The result was a chimera, an animal with cells from two species. However, the offspring from such an animal would either be a pure goat or pure sheep as the testes only developed from cells of one species. Therefore there would not be any reason to breed such chemira since none of the offspring would be chimeras. Now explain that to some great halachic authority here in Israel who doesn't know what DNA is.
As for the Salmon, that was last year's question. As I wrote in an extensive posts in the past, Rav Vosner had no problem with my jellyfish gene insertion into chickens and this would apply to anti-freeze gene. However, I did write one halachic authority that in any event I didn't see why an eel fish is not a fish and futhermore, Jews ate eels for centuries before stopping in the 18th century, so there really isn't a problem. He stopped corresponding with me.
(By the way, Rav Tendler was my teacher some fourty years ago. Happy to see he is still going strong.)
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